9:15 a.m., a Friday in September, in Groix. The nursing home, inaugurated at the start of the year, is already running at full speed. Physiologists, a dentist, two nursing offices, a speech therapist, a podiatrist, an osteopath… A substantial range of care for a town of 2,200 inhabitants. “All that’s missing are the medics. A shame for equipment designed for them, ”sighs Dominique Yvon, the mayor.
The retired doctor returns to service
Since the resignation of two general practitioners employed by Kersanté this summer, the island has suffered from a serious shortage of doctors. First symptom: Doctor Tattevin even returned to work a few days ago. On call this week, with a replacement, the Groisillonne (in office on the island since 2016) had just retired at the start of the year. “A temporary solution, at least until the end of the year”, promises the Association of health professionals of the island of Groix, on all fronts since the two doctors threw in the towel, for good reason. burnout. “The replacements sent from the continent are very good, but they are never the same”, regrets Denis, a Parisian who returned to the country four years ago. “We all liked having our referring doctor. As before, ”explains the retiree who accompanies his wife to the dentist, even if he understands that young people may hesitate to settle on an island, even a paradise. “It is especially making an appointment that is complicated”, confides this young dad, obliged to come on site with his one-year-old daughter, just to make an appointment. “I called this morning, but the secretariat’s phone was ringing in the void ”.
An island without a doctor and an island that is dying
For sustainable medicine, no passing doctors
Gone is the golden age of old-fashioned island medicine with up to three doctors based on the island? Françoise has only known that and says she is “in solidarity with the Groisillons in need of a doctor”. Also in solidarity with an aging population, despite the arrival of new residents and the opening of a class in primary school.
This part-time resident, crossed in the village with her newspapers under her arm, returns from the main bookstore. One of the shops in the village which has opened a guest book to collect the wishes and wishes of its customers. All are asking for “doctors for all”, “a benevolent and sustainable medicine”, “permanent doctors, no passage” and say they are “lost without a doctor”. Another comment: “an island without a doctor and an island that is dying”, “no to medical deserts”. Messages that echo the stickers “Solidarity with the doctors of Groix”, seen on some windows, panels and walls of the island.
Beyond the citizen mobilization, still shy, Groix wants things to change. “I understand that Kersanté was putting pressure on its doctors to spend less time with patients and pay more fees,” says the mayor. I do not know who is right or wrong, but what I do know is that the old doctors were not there to make figures but to treat the sick. To reassure, not to prescribe chrono in hand. We do not treat medicine on an island of 14 km² as in Neuilly-sur-Seine ”.
The elected official is categorical: “The system as it exists today is not viable”. A diagnosis that he defended during the meeting of the Association of the Ponant Islands this weekend at Île aux Moines. “It’s all well and good to mobilize and educate the population, but we now need something concrete and above all long-lasting solutions”.
In its blog, the municipal opposition wonders: “Is Kersanté in a position to offer the desired services and to adjust the number of doctors to real needs.” Can this organism reform itself? Otherwise, another mode of organization will have to be considered ”.
For APSIG, it is urgent. The problem is complex, but solutions exist.
“We are giving ourselves until December to resolve the problem. If we see that the authorities are dragging their feet, it will be necessary to organize a public debate and why not a large popular demonstration ”, warns Frédéric Delange, president of the association of health professionals and pharmacist of the island.
A new outbreak of fever in perspective, like the 2015 yellow oilskins …